Durbin Announces Fall 2019 Recipient Of The Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced Alexis Ryckaert, a college senior from Taylor Ridge, Illinois, as the Fall 2019 recipient of the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program.  This scholarship, open to students from Illinois or those studying in Illinois, is an opportunity for the students to receive financial assistance while obtaining a first-hand experience in Senator Durbin’s Washington, D.C. office.  The program was created in honor of Durbin’s former Chief of Staff who passed away in March 2017 due to complications with Parkinson’s disease.  There have been eight Ed Greelegs scholars, including Alexis, since the program’s inception.

“Ed knew everybody in Washington by name and everybody knew Ed. From Teddy Kennedy to the elevator operator, and the men and women who cleaned our office and polished the floor.  Even as parts of his memory were failing, his passion for politics never changed.  Ed is at peace now, but his influence remains with the lives he touched,” said Durbin.  “I’m excited to continue this scholarship program in Ed’s name and honor, to carry on his love of politics to the next generation by making the incredible experience of a Washington, D.C. internship possible for any Illinois student interested, no matter their background.  Alexis is a talented, inspiring, smart young woman and her future in politics is very bright.”

“Serving in Senator Durbin’s office has been the opportunity of a lifetime,” Alexis said.  “There are few feelings more powerful than being proud to go to work every day, and I can’t thank this office enough for granting me that privilege.  Senator Durbin and his staff work tirelessly to make Illinois a better place and working for them is an honor.  This is a pivotal time for our nation, but I have an immense amount of confidence in those who represent my state.  I look forward to seeing what they do next and how I can contribute to that.”

A photo of Durbin with Alexis Ryckaert is available here.

Alexis is currently a senior at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, pursuing degrees in political science and English.  Prior to arriving in Washington, D.C., she spent a year interning at MetroLINK in Moline and three years at the Milan Hy-Vee.  On campus, she serves as the co-chair of the Political Science Student Advisory Council and has participated in study abroad programs to Brazil and India.  As a lifelong resident of the Quad Cities area, Alexis hopes to use the insight gained from her internship in Washington for the betterment of her hometown.

In order to be eligible for the Ed Greelegs Scholarship Program, students must be a resident of Illinois or be enrolled in an accredited college or university in Illinois; must demonstrate financial need; must not be receiving outside financial aid for their internship; and must have demonstrated an interest in public service and the legislative process.

Ed Greelegs started working for Durbin in 1990 and served as his chief of staff in the House of Representatives and Senate for a combined 17 years.  Ed was a beloved member of the Capitol Hill community, and made our country better with his caring approach and dedication to public service.

Senator Durbin paid tribute to Ed shortly after his passing in March 2017.  Video of his floor speech is available here.